About the author:
When she's not busy mastering face contour, Mina Salva Cruz spends her time writing articles focused on health and beauty, particularly skin and hair care, makeup and hair styling. She is one of the daytime writers for The Australasian College Broadway, a benchmark college in Australia specializing in hairdressing, beauty therapy, makeup, and IPL training.
Have you ever wondered why your makeup seems a little off even after switching to a professional cosmetic brand? Perhaps, it's not the product's problem - but how you use it.
The good news is you don't have to go to a beauty school or watch a gazillion of makeup tutorials to pull off your makeup like a pro. You just have to start with recognizing the basics, like the common makeup mistakes most women are guilty of and how to solve them.
1. Skipping skin care
Instead of covering your imperfections, slathering on foundation over your dry skin just emphasizes the lines and flakes you're trying to hide. Same goes with swiping lipstick over chapped lips. No matter how good your cosmetic products are, they have no power against ditched skin care.
Before applying makeup, cleanse your face and follow that up with a light moisturizer. Exfoliating regularly twice or thrice a week will also help smoothen your face for a more polished look. For lips, dab a light face moisturizer or a papaw ointment before applying your favorite lipstick.
2. Wearing the wrong foundation shade
If you have a paler complexion, you're often tempted to try a foundation with darker shades to give your skin a bit of a tan. Likewise, you choose lighter shades to brighten up your darker complexion. However, either way can lead to a huge makeup mess.
Embrace your natural skin color and stick to the shade that naturally blends in with your skin. Foundation is meant to cover up minor imperfections and create a smooth and flawless finish, not alter the shade of your skin. Leave the lightening and tanning jobs to the bronzers and highlighters. You should also avoid applying too much foundation, which leads to a cakey complexion. Trust your concealer with your major blemishes.
Before you buy a foundation, test different shades NOT on the back of your hand but on your jawline or neck. Yes, I was guilty of doing this. You should also invest in a good foundation brush rather than using your fingers in applying the foundation for a more polished coverage.
3. Wearing too much face powder
Dusting with face powder after applying foundation is one great way to matte oily skin and achieve a fuller coverage. Just make sure you don't overdo it. Slathering face powder all over your face ages you, as the powder settles in your pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. It will also make your face seem cakey, flat and unnatural.
To avoid such blunders, just apply face powder lightly where you need it, like on your cheeks and your face's T-zone. You can also go for a translucent setting powder, a very refined powder that mattes the skin and won't cake.
4. Applying a concealer that is too light
Whether your under-eye circles and bags are inherited or caused by a number of sleepless nights, you know how a good, trustworthy concealer can change your life.
Like foundation and powder, you have to be careful with choosing your shade, or it can backfire on you. White circles, from a shade too light for your skin tone, are as unsightly as dark circles. According to experts, your concealer should not be more than one shade lighter than your skin.
Instead of swiping it, use your finger and tap the concealer gently to blend in with your skin. Finish it by topping lightly with loose powder.
5. Drawing entire eyebrows with a pencil
There are numerous ways you can make any eyebrow nazi cringe, and drawing harsh lines on your entire eyebrows with a pencil is just one of them. Solid strokes make it more difficult to blend, leaving you with a cartoon-ish pair of brows.
Ideally, a pencil should only be used to draw clean lines on top of and under your brows. After defining them, fill in brows lightly using a thin, angled brush swiped on a brow powder or an eyeshadow hue that matches your hair color. Finish it off by brushing upwards and applying light concealer on your brow bones.
6. Going heavy on eyeliner
Aside from defining your eyes, eyeliners are also great in giving the illusion of fuller lashes and larger eyes. The liner is applied both at the top and bottom of the lash line to pop up the eyes. Unless you're going for a rocker chic look, overlining your eyes doesn't look as appealing.
Instead of lining your eyes with thick, solid strokes, try using an eyeshadow and a smudge brush at the bottom of your lash line to define your lashes lightly.
7. Overdoing the blush
Did you just get slapped or your blush just seems a little off? To avoid this makeup mess, always start with less. If you're not satisfied with your rosy cheeks, you can always add more.
If you want a flushed, sun-kissed look, smile then apply the blush to the apples of your cheeks. If you're going for a more sculpted look, blend the brush upward, following your natural cheekbone structure. Avoid applying blush on the lower part of your cheek for it may drag your face down.
8. Obsessing with contour
If you have a "siopao" face just like the writer of this piece, contouring is a skill you must learn before you leave the earth. It's a "make or break" thing, and unless you're already an expert in contouring – like Kim K – you should keep the process as simple as possible. Using a matte bronzer, start with a light stroke on top of your forehead connecting to the top of your cheekbone and your jawline, and blend.
9. Lining outside your natural lip line
Big, plump lips are in, and some women who aren't so blessed with fuller lips are using makeup to create the illusion. However, the trick of lining outside your lip line is way easier said than done. It's a risk, and one wrong move can make you look like Joker instead of Jolie.
Instead of lining beyond your lip line, create a fuller look by applying lip liner just on the outline edge of your lips. Fill in your lips with liner and leave the very center of your lips bare before finishing off with a lipstick and gloss.
10. Highlighting too many features
You want to go for a dramatic smokey eyes with long eyelashes – but you also want to have have bright red lips. As much as I'd like you to do both, combining the two bold features can lead to a disaster, when different parts of your face are competing for attention.
Choose only one feature to highlight and tone down the rest. If you want to have bold eyes, like smokey eyes, keep your lips nude or natural-looking, to draw the attention to your popping eyes. Likewise, have a simple neutral eye makeup if you want to go for vividly-colored lips.